tv Public Affairs CSPAN July 15, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT
[laughter] >> not yet. >> why don't we go there is a tender out for 10 .ower lands these are existing. seven of them has been updated. nigerian companies are looking for the u.s. partners. it is the only situation where i know something mentioning something innately coming up. i imagine there are other opportunities in other countries also. thank you. >> tackle the ones you see most it. >> just to respond to your question, my understanding is
that the power africa team is focused on a number of projects they are trying to push forward. i would expect things are as transparent as possible. there is certainly an entre to say, who are the guys you are talking to? those are opportunities. the two questions that were directed toward me -- the competition from china. i do not see it as competition. as and epc contractor, we obviously compete with chinese companies and have competed with chinese companies. we submitted a bid today for a contract in tanzania. it is tough for us to compete with chinese contractors. we are more expensive at the end of the day. but we also intend to use
equipment that is more reliable. you have to pay for that. overall, at the macro level, i do not see it as competition. chinese companies and the chinese government have done amazing things in africa in terms of roads and infrastructure. there is so much to be done that it is not a matter of competition. we have come late to the game in a way. as everybody knows, the development projects and the interest sector projects in africa have been an element of chinese foreign policy. they have been able to provide low interest loans to get this stuff done by chinese contractors. we just do not have that system. we are more expensive. it is harder. it is a different kind of approach to doing a development
in africa. overall, i would not call it competition. there is so much work to be done that there are opportunities for partnerships and everybody can pull off a piece and be doing work together. i will give you an example. in tanzania right now, the chinese are constructing a gas pipeline. everybody who owns power patents power plants is looking forward to that happening. douse your fears about unintended consequences. absolutely not. [laughter] there are a lot of initiatives coming out of the u.s. government. we have been involved in them.
there is always the danger that people lose interest. it was a great initiative and people got excited and it was super sexy and the money just does not show up. we are not funding it anymore and things happen. this is something that is too important. it has become such a signature initiative and have so much by parsons support that i think the rest of that happening with this and is -- there is so much bipartisan support that i think the risk of that happening is relatively low. it has the support of the african government and civil society and the development community. it is continuing to go fairly strongly. >> most of the key points have been hit on. maybe just one or two things to add on additional it. in terms of where the money is coming
from and if there is any risk for humanitarian programs, we work on many different issues -- global health, we have a number of different priorities. this would be an issue we would be focused on. we have not seen any tangible rest -- risk in the near torn -- near term. we will see how it transforms over time. most of the resources that were announced do not require congressional appropriations. they are not branch resources. most of them will make the u.s. government money. of that announcement, i would expect not knowing the financial engineering or all the commitments, this will be a net positive for the deficit. profits are coming in from opecic -- opic and usaid. it is quite an interesting model in the environment that we are operating in. it feeds into some of the bipartisan support you will probably see on this.
adequately and the one thing i would say is that i didn't necessarily mean the u.s. government is late to the continent, just late to this particular issue. ben is a leader on so many other issues on the continent, but behind the curve on the power sector. pun intended. in terms of unintended consequences, one of the challenges our risks -- there are so many risks on these projects that from the one campaign's perspective we are quite worried about. i will mention one or two. now that this issue has gained so much prominence in this country in the development context, it has been in the space in germany, france, japan and other places, but not so much in america. there are some successes and this continues to go forward and be incorporated into the core sections of how this place does development. for all of the reasons i mentioned before, just responding to what everyone wants.
this is the center of the venn diagram. how could you not be working on this issue? there are a couple of projects that do not hit the mark, fails for whatever reason, very worried about what the consequences could mean over the medium to long term. i will stop at that point. >> two really quickly. if i seemed overly excited about the initiative, i was doing a good job of trying to be positive. i do not think it has any greater likelihood of succeeding than any of the other one of these we have seen in recent memory. that does not mean it has a good chance of failing either or that you should not be doing it. there are good analogies for what could happen or what could not go well. we have analogies on the energy side for doing project-based spending with lots of exuberance that did not go well. it was politically think up on in this town and has done a lot in terms of what we are able to put into r & d spending on the
clean energy side. the thing that i get worried about with these initiatives -- and this is because of my government background -- it sucks energy away from people who have been doing this away -- doing this for a long period of time. it is really, really, really important to say, i am having an interagency meeting to make sure we are all talking to each other. it is fantastic. the vast majority of the american public would be shocked if you were not doing that in the first place. talk to people left money they want to invest in large quantities on a regular basis. i have no doubt that is happening, too. the transparent about the strategic thinking and the creative thinking you are putting into these projects. it is not like one initiative like this is going to crack the development world. i do not mean to say that
glibly. but you have to keep working at it and being transparent about the intellectual discourse that is going on behind these things. it is a really helpful thing to everybody to get involved in from a political standpoint here in washington pet the competition with china thing -- standpoint here in washington. the competition with china thing, america choose -- response really, really well with competition unless they respond really, really badly. >> just on the rest side, too, so much of this realized on the response from the african -- relies on the response from the african government. you wonder why they have not gotten it together on the power such a -- sector for decades. it has become this monumental decade -- monumental obstacle.
it has taken 10-15 years to get the regulatory structure in place. they have taken some hard decisions and cost-reflective tariffs that are politically reductive. every nigerian president comes in and makes power. it quickly bogs down into vested interest and the difficulty of disentangling and privatizing the sector and uncoupling pieces together. the ambition of putting a transactional adviser into one of these ministries and expecting a young, energetic american to turn one of these massive bureaucracies are around. the focus on the transnational,
a project by project focus is important. ultimately, to hang together you need a sector-wide performance and political to choices that need to get made. if you start to hit that wall or the bureaucratic morass that you were talking about, you can see some of the energy leaking out of this a little bit. the good feeling and momentum
that is happening right now begins to fade away. it is always great to start this out optimistic. what is it that will make this work? what is needed to make it work for the u.s. and the u.s. congress and the private sector and for african partners and african governments and constituencies. in gauging civil society in these countries and saying what is at stake here. what is the opportunity. what is the importance of holding your government to account to make this work. >> thank you very much. i find, in this jam packed room, the most optimistic and most realistic questions. the question i would like to have -- to ask, the chinese are there anywhere and they are going everywhere. their quality of work and the prices are relatively cheaper. then they shot on scales -- shop on scales.
how do you navigate your cause while competing with the chinese? your quality is superior. cause of that the contract is up a high price. thank you. -- of a high price. >> thank you so much. i am from tanzania. i've volunteered for the east african unity. i am a student of international relations. my question goes with the gentleman who has been in
tanzania. i have been in tanzania five years and the issue of electricity is critical. what have you laid down? in tanzania, the daily crime is electricity to show that the government has failed. if your company has been their four years, what strategies are you using? many people in tanzania are focusing on chinese projects. they say when the chinese come, they do not talk. you give the time line and you see something is happening. now in tanzania, people are thinking of having the government privatized the unesco
company -- privatize the unesco company. obama came to my own country in tanzania. i was privileged to see america is coming to africa or are we having another talk-show continuing? thank you. >> been delayed on the aisle. -- then the lady on the aisle. >> i have another question from 3,000 feet. something i am is still unclear about. i am still earned sure how much of the portfolio will be renewable and how much will be oil and gas. when you look at the white house fact sheet, a fair proportion of that money is earmarked for renewables. realistically, what are we looking at for renewables as we
go forward with this? >> thank you. i am associated with the contraglobal corporation that is a pioneer investor in africa. we are generating power and selling it in five african countries right now. we are extracting gas with a new technology we invented. we are currently looking at the gasification of ong as a way of getting rid of heavy fuel oil. now my question. i seriously doubt the value of including ethiopia in this six- country mix. we have been going there every year for five years offering to invest in private power generation. we have been refused each time.
it is a marxist-leninist regime that has no interest in private investment in power. why did the united states use that country? i make a recommendation that we switch right away. [laughter] >> you want to start off? yes. >> i will start with ethiopia. maybe this is a way of trying to move that for with. we have both been hearing years now that that is going to
change. there are moves afoot for the ethiopians to start allowing it. i am just guessing that it is the idea to try to incentivize them to do this. the money is there, let's try to do some projects. i will go down the list. how do we deal with the issues raised by competition with china? i will leave it at that. we are a u.s. company. we cannot do things other companies can do and other companies do do, whether they are chinese or whoever they are. we developed relationships and maintain those relationships. we also do it through how we do business. that has real value in a lot of
african countries. it is in stark contrast to the way of a lot of chinese contractors operate. i will leave that makes a difference. it is making the business case for a seat being and of the would-be a responsible business. that is how we have managed that issue. make no mistake, it does take a longer. there are certain things you can get done as another company that we cannot do. to get our invoice to be toppled that stack, we have to be in their nonstop saying pay, pay, pay,. others -- pay, pay. pay. others do not have to do that. in tanzania, we do everything to
keep the lights on. we have not been paid for all of the reasons you are familiar with. they are contributing to the calls for privatization. it is difficult. the organization needs serious reform. even people within the organization will tell you that. it has not been up to par. we talked about cost-effective terrorist. that is an important element -- we talked about cost-effective tariffs. we made a commitment to the president. we have had to manage it off of our balance sheet to put fuel in the jets and buy fuel for our plant. we kept them ready even though we have not been paid. that goes to the point of, we
are staying in there. it is a result of the way we did business in tanzania. there is a lot of gas and we want to take advantage of that. part of this project is to build 660 kilometers of transmission lines. -- 660 kilometers of transmission lines -- 650 kilometers of transmission lines. we keep the lights on as much as it hurts sometimes. i just want to jump into the question on the portfolio about renewables. i went down this list. there is a really great list of all the african countries with self-capacity an average terrorists -- tarrifs retail renewal. helmet -- how many countries have a tarrif that is over 17 cents?
i am pulley that out of the air. it is pretty hard to do a renewable -- it is pretty -- i am pulling back out of the air. there are only six out of 26 countries. how do you make it renewable energy project commercially viable when that is with their retail terrorist -- jerez -- tarrif is? unless use -- the less you subsidize the tarrif, and there are a lot of incidents allowing you to do that, these projects are not commercially viable. they are in certain circumstances. your mix at the outset is going to be low. that leads to a point ben was making.
i am a moderator's nightmare. [laughter] we started talking startedopic. we started talking about opic. it is controversial. opic is this enormous amount of debt that is there that we can take advantage of, that we want to take advantage of. if i have a $700 million private that runs off of gas, i do not have access to opic because of the carbon cap. the question is, well this failed? that is a real risk. there is a major -- the question is, will this fail? the gas is in a lot of countries and we have to find a way to take advantage of that gas in a way that we can finance it through power africa.
these are the challenging issues people have to focus on. i will shut up now. >> on the carbon cap, i want to give you an example of something that worked without too much government support. that was a pipeline from bolivia taking natural gas to sao paolo. they went through three countries, peru paraguay and brazil. -- peru, paraguay, brazil. it was done by enron. they found a way to privatize capital to get things done. i do not know how they did it. environmental concerns to run pipelines. it got done. it is making money. i think you can find similar situations in africa if you get a market that is willing to pay.
investment bankers can come in and do things that u.s. agencies cannot. there has to be the demand and a market price for it. you either believe your access to electricity is commercially competitive or you do not. some policies allow you to test that theory while others allow people to access money on the -- make it difficult for people to access money on the other side. it was a different time when we were looking at building up support within various u.s. government agencies for reducing gashouse emissions. we were doing it in a lot of different ways. it was lauded for the same
reasons it is being derided, for this cap. how do you incentivize low carbon energy technologies? is that something that makes sense in this new framework we are seeing or is it something that is making it problematic. that is an ongoing debate. we go back and forth between this world where we believe some of these technologies and services are cost-competitive when they are not. i think we need to prove that on a case by case basis in lots of different places over and over again. that is what competition and the private sector are about. the role for government is to figure out how to best play in that cannot be prescriptive.
>> i just want to add 1 or two senses that -- one or two sentences to the points that sarah made. as always, it is complicated or complex or wherever. it is the rural and off great areas. it is also urban. this should never only be a rural access issue. if that is what you are talking about, maybe solar mantegna's might be a stop gap. if you talk in rural villages, people will say, thanks for the lights, but that is not enough. i want to be able to serve a small firm and do whatever. where the government should be focusing and how access is
defined is important. when i said a mix before at the very top, i was also intending or intimating a mix between rural, urban. it is across the spectrum. the issue from our perspective is, let's not handicap ourselves in terms of being able to push on certain issues. it is one to be appropriate and customize according to different circumstances -- and customized according to different circumstances across the country. >> we are at time. this has just been fascinating to me. thank you also must fourth joining us. i hope we can take andrew up on
>> a look outside the u.s. capitol. the house returns tomorrow with work this week on the bill. the individual mandate calls for this under the healthcare law. senate majority leader has called for a closed-door meeting. proposed changes for the filibuster rule. wish to speak following the meeting. last week, a dispute of others among party leaders to the president's executive nominee. there are top spots at the
labor department, environmental protection agency in consumer finance reduction bureau. he has also put forward three nominees for the national labor relations. the terms of one of the members expires in august. senator reid and just as much or in an washington this morning. >> this is what he is most concerned about. are there any circumstances in which you would see delaying that talks? how ironclad? click talks on what? otherwise we are going to have this in the morning. tois easy to do away with, simply get rid of these filibusters.
why would they hold up? this is one of the most interesting things. they created them. what is barack obama supposed to do? -- this is to visit august 1. it is over with. this is only happened because of them. the president would not have disappointed his people. we do not have time to wait and see if justice kennedy will do away. this is available on our website. a live look at the
floor of the senate here. calling all senators to the floor for a corner store meeting that will take place in the senate chamber. they will discuss the plan to change the filibuster rules. or both parties to blame equally? join in the conversation. >> earlier someone touch upon the idea that women could not inlly predict their role entering into the white house. i did find one observer who he started when
poor young man. to lay out in my book and educated guess that mary lincoln would not let a little thing like human sacrifice come between her and her goal. she was someone that was a true little copartner. >> we will hear from historians of authors about the role the first lady and now it has changed along with the nation. >> earlier today, he talked about the state of the economy and how it has been impacted by the implementation of the financial regulation law. the chief economic
correspondent been white at a breakfast here in washington. this is just under an hour. >> good morning everybody. it is a nice season bleak cool day. we try to keep the room cool for everyone. got here a little earlier. we will get started very quickly. ofiel is at the center regulatory efforts. a member of the open market the corner of wall street and washington. everybody is joining on the live stream. for being here. we are very excited for this breakfast. they are here to send this. i can follow him on the tablet. we will get your questions a
little bit later on. deftly keep it on to eat. anything you like. want to interrupt him. let's go ahead and get started. >> i wanted to start. thanks for coming out. i wanted to ask a little bit about your view on too big to fail right now. do we have banks in this country at this moment fewer were too big to fail? would they be bailed out despite all of the efforts thus far? stillare some that are being implemented. based on that implementation, do we have too big to fail banks? too big to fail is not a binary status.
think about what happened during the crisis with the reserve whenry money market fund it became insolvent and set up a of the moneye rest market funds that required intervention to keep that industry supported. before theever crisis have thought of the reserve primary fund as a systemically important institution. to some degree to be to fail what is going on in the greater environment. the risks canat be substantially rates are in can pose at failure much larger threat. for that reason we can identify some institutions which may not
characterize as too big to fail but are systematically important. i would say that with respect to those most complex institutions, that while a good bit has been done and is still about to be done under sets of regulations and agreements that will be implemented, my own view is that we still need to do more to get to the risk of opposing these institutions when they are confined to what we would think of as manageable proportions. let's start with what has been done. more than double capital in the large institutions. to liquidity way requirement -- requirements over a somewhat longer time. we have the orderly authorization being in place.
the stress testing regime that the fed has put in place. this has been done. these are still to be done but there on the horizon. that is an obvious follow-up. will he -- when you do something on the short term funding? first opportunity, there is an opportunity here. that is what a funding ratio. the basel committee has been negotiating to kind of quantitative liquidity arrangements. the first coverage ratio which short-term covers 30 days of vulnerability has been completed. we will put out a proposed one in the fall to implement this.
this is supposed to deal with somewhere -- somewhat longer liquidity. in its original concept, it is preceded on the assumption that a more ork was in less safe position to be in. my own sense is that while it is better to have this, it is still the case that large amounts of postell -- of wholesale funding make the institution or system susceptible to run. i think we should see whether we the funding ratio to take that into account. need to do something independent of that. that is why i floated the idea of tying short-term wholesale funding to an independent metric
of some sort and possibly tying it to higher levels as well. >> on the proposal that just came out, he propose going beyond what basel has proposed at the bank holding company level. there has been some criticism that there's too much time between now from when it it is proposed in the 60 day comment tying. they say it is too limiting on their ability to make loans and drive the economic recovery. was there way a way to do it to be more immediately com compatible? ,> as i mentioned a moment ago we are already doubled the amount of capital. all of them are continuing to build capital in accordance with the banks are already on for
regulatory reasons and an upward trajectory. nhe leverage ratio is a important complement to the risk ace requirements, making sure it is harder to arbitrage. when you have the ratio, there is an incentive to do the riskiest things you can within the ratio. we have only risk-based capital there is an incentive to arbitrage those categories. with the two together you have a little bit more coverage. all of these requirements are intended to be phased in over years. in doing so, you minimize the chances of disruption of the flow and capital more generally.
we have also demonstrated that it is a quite successful rea approach when you look at the capitol bills since early 2009. finalms of an end term rule, they are intended for circumstances that are supposed to be exigent where there is a very powerful reason for not having the kind of notice and comment which the procedure act is in which more people think is a good idea and they have a chance to be scrutinized by everyone. obviously, with this and basel. everything else, we go out for comments. i think you can also see that there is a very strong sense about the three percent ratio that is an adequate.
>> what do you make of the arguments from the banks that will be covered by this, that it will limit the flow of credit and liquidity? you are going too far to regulate banks without taking into a economy and accessibility of credits. do you think there is a legitimate argument here that this could be damaging? >> we will be interested as always. people can make observations that they are salient with the impact to the economy. there are aty, least two considerations here. in the first instance, we do have to look past what is going to give us a level of safety and stability in the system that will protect against a clearence of extremely
financial crisis. the analytics has suggested that among other things is the need for more and better capital than existed pre-crisis. stabilizing the financial system and being an insurance policy is a big benefit that one gets from higher levels. are there costs associated with? they try to protect individuals. if you tell them they cannot isve as asked some commerce going to take longer to do. there will be a minimal district of effect on the economy while we get to larger and higher
capital. >> sensors mccain and warner and and some others introduced this different from a bill that came here three years ago, arguing that we sai should sepae it from consumer banking before it was before the repeal of glass-steagall. do you think this is a good idea to protect individual consumers? would that address too big to fail anyway we have not addressed it so far? >> there is a continuing discussion of ways to take additional steps to provide more of that safety and stability i was talking about a moment ago. byis useful to begin identifying what criteria we wanted to bring to bear. i think the two most important
are not hard to identify. first, how complicated would be proposal be in preventing the kind of problems we have five or six years ago or preventing problems right now without a whole lot of m imagination? what would be the unintended consequences of a proposed reform measure. i think if you use that as a very basic framework, it helps theyink through which one might want to pursue sooner. which ones they may want to take some more time to assess. that is the backdrop. it is important to keep a little history in mind here as to how glass-steagall ended up being narrow at least in the separation of banking and
investment banking. -- commercials began to experience a real squeeze in there business models on both sides of the balance sheet. they had been very cheap sources suppressed by federal reserve regulation and the amount of interest you can pay. deposits have been a very predictable, beneficial for the bank source of funding. and were becoming less less reliable because other vehicles were developed in four american households. mutual funds, money market mutual funds. theriety of ways that household could get a higher return on savings.
it meant that bank deposits were becoming less attractive. interest rates were deregulated. was a little more available. on the asset side of the balance sheet, the growth of the capital to a situation in which very large companies do not borrow any from commercial banks. rich funding, that sort of things. they do not take a big loans. markets have made these much more readily available to some medium and large companies as well. was tothat on both sides the good of the economy as a whole.
it is good for companies to have a lower cost of capital. it did produce a squeeze on banks. to some degree what was happening was that regulators thisreact to in to squeeze which was calling into question the viability of a very large banking model. that was a lot of what lay behind the erosion of glass- steagall. brushedss-steagall was away, it was not so much a radical change in the situation. at have been happening for a time. putas a lost opportunity to in place a regulatory system that responded more to the new forms of funding and activities. ,ith all that as a backdrop the way i think about glass- steagall is roughly the following.
on the benefit side there could be some benefits of banking and commerce. run-upink we saw in the to the crisis, many of the institutions that provoke the most serious were not enough with in the commercial banking system at all. this would be lehman and bear stearns. large banking organizations that have some thingshat were similar to what they did. you do not need a commercial bank to do this. there is some question as to how much that would actually prevent the kind of problems we saw from developing. secondly, there is some question as to whether some would lose something which is the benefit of having large
.nstitutions with the capacity it has the capacity to provide funding of any sort that a client may need from a line of credit. to going out with an ipo. s are are hardefit to pin down. when i put those two things and at listficacy some things that unintended consequences, my own sense is that i would not have this approach as high on my list. there was a problem with lehman. onhink that problem was short-term funding more than it was what kind they were affiliated with. >> got a long way to go?
>> looks. i think people should continue to explore and ask questions would be. the impact for me the prior she is the wholesale funding area. >> you mentioned there were banks that got into trouble. citigroup is the greatest example of that. it is one of the main reasons glass-steagall came down, because of lobbying pressure from creating the one-stop shop supermarket like citigroup. people do not talk about citigroup that much when talking about the crisis and the cost of the crisis and the bailout but took lace. these.red a lot of is it a reason to support legislation like this? , it is just a
factual and historical matter. on the citiimpact was that it allowed it to absorb travelers. the reality is that is a relatively short-lived marriage. the real point is the vulnerability posed by short- term funding to fund larger term assets. in many type of institutions. if we are trying to solve for that problem, we should do that no matter what the situation is taking place. >> financial services cause -- does all of this stuff beyond sometimes what i am able to comprehend.
david has a question for you from our friends there. of dodd frank is that they use to collaborate on major roles. you think this leads to better outcomes? are there too many cooks in the kitchen? >> it has been a complicated ross says. theou think about the the agencies did a fair number of roles. they had worked out a reasonably good way of dealing one another. there are some notable disagreements.
these are pretty well a shared perspective. it still takes time. this is acting in total good faith. if everybody has their own perspective, and that needs to be worked through, it takes a lot longer for staff to try to of these.e all when they are not necessarily sharing the basis of free banking agencies, there may be some learning. you think there has been some learning.
thathis requires sometimes you have different elements of proposals being played together in a way that no one agency on its own would have done. itng in the middle of it, seems they can be frustrating if it takes that much time. do not get frustrated with the individuals. until theve to wait whole process is over for objective observers to as the question. there is the value of a different perspective to make that different role make eating with multiple agencies the best way to go. little early to judge it yet. it is undeniable the feature is part of what has slowed down the rulemaking process. lacks you are saying there is
never any personality conflict read -- >> you're saying there is never any personality conflicts? this is not much matter what the particular institutional structure is. there will be a creature or lesser number of policy conflicts. set i would say about this of exercises is that they go out to beir way in general cooperative because everybody recognizes the novelty of the undertaking and the sheer magnitude of it. >> i want to get back to some regulatory questions in a moment. i know our time moves fast. we want to talk a bit about monetary policy. i wonder whether you were surprised by the speed and
intensity of market reaction to the chairman's press conference reaction tond the the 10-year treasury to those comments. how did you feel about that market reaction? do you think that that has happened the market has gotten back to an equilibrium that is fair value? they're going back to the middle of the spring where yield started to rise. this is before the chairman testimony.
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captions performed by national captioning institute] 6 >> it is not automatic, and indeed, it is not difficult to imagine circumstances in which one would say even though, for example,ed 6.5% unemployment rate has been reached, inflation might still be subdued. we might see there's a good bit of slack in the labor market. perhaps labor force participation has still not bounced back, but there are good reasons to believe it will. so what is set up by those thresholds is a consideration of what to do next. and nothing has been pulled forward there in my respect. it is really as a reaffirmation
of the fact that there are two different complimentary policy elements at play here, each moving on its own set of contingent conditions that will satisfy the committee. >> in terms of those targets, which are triggers -- >> thresholds. >> thresholds, being met, there is an estimate that we will not hit those levels, and it looks like the second quarter number will be weak based on the fiscal drag we will see leading into later this year. what is your view on the state of the economy right now and your forecast for the rest of this year? do you think the fed's current forecasts are too ambitious, too
hopeful? do you see the economic recovery gathering steam? >> first of all, it is a technical matter. the projections that the chairman was reported on at the june press conference are basically set the tendency of the aggregated projections of 19 individuals in the fomc. it is not -- it is actually useful to point out, some central banks have a process where by the members of the monetary policy committee sit around and put together their individual projecks and then try to come out with a consensus. we don't do that fment having said that, i think the most important thing zpwen is that my decision certainly, and i would anticipate those of my colleagues, are going to be based upon what we observe about the economy, what the outlook for maybe market improvement is, which is a standard we have articulated for the lsap purchases.
so if it turns out that the central tendency of fomc participants has been too optimistic, that would suggest that apart of the economy will not go as the chairman related those expectations in june. therefore what a monetary policymaker would called a reaction function is going to indicate that we should behave differently. so in a sense, there is kind of a self-correcting mechanism in there. more generally on the economy, you know, it is interesting. i think for the last several years, my own view has been that the spark in economic growth, job creation, that we would see for a period of several, four or five months, were largely the result of monetary policy stimulus affects, fiscal policy stimulus affects, or some
combination of the two. i was skeptical that there was self-sustaining underlying momentum there because of the large amounts of household debt that has held up because of the depressed state of the housing market, because of the major dislocations that have occurred in the american labor market. so at various steps of the way when some people are getting a bit more optimistic, my underlying assumption would be that we will have some backsliding. in deed, that has taken place in each of those previous three occasions. beginning toward the end of last year, i think actually the an litic train has shifted somewhat. i think it is the case now that household debt -- it is by no means the case at all that households are back in the circumstances of the precrisis
period. but enough households have had a lot of work done in their own balance sheet. we know that the financial system is stronger than it was. large corporations are very cash rich right now. they have been in good shape for some time now. there has been the idea that the economy was facing a financial crisis and left people in a lot of debt. that that situation had diminished substantially. i think this year the question had been, to what degree will the fiscal drag that has taken place because of the increase in the payroll tax and sequestration retard the rebound of the economy which otherwise
begins a -- not a spectacular period of growth, but a steady period of growth. i think the jury is out on that to some degree. i think the fiscal effect has had a drag, and a significant one. c.b.o. thinks a point and a half off this year. but for all of us, the question is going to be can the economy work through the peak period of fiscal constraint which will keep -- which will peak probably in the second and third qurter of this year, before those begin to diminish a little bit? they should diminish a little at the beginning of next year. that's the question i'm going to be asking myself as we come up in the next several fomc's. what does the data say about whether that underlying momentum
is enough to sustain positive growth through this period or to what degree are the fiscal constraints risking again that kind of backsliding we have seen the last three years. >> and how much of a risk is it if we get another backsliding of debt debacle -- well, that would be october, perhaps debt ceiling in november. there's no clear path toward resolution of either of those at that point. how much of a risk do you think that poses to the economic recovery in addition to coming on top of the fiscal situation in the second quarter? >> well, as we saw a couple years ago in terms of confidence in markets and business people trying to make investment decisions and the like, those kinds of high uncertainties, the so-called "fiscal cliff," cannot be helped.
it is just something that can inject more uncertainty into a group of consumers or investors that are already asking a lot of questions about the underlying strength of the economy. >> this is a twitter question, but i also want this on my list, your view on the bernanke effort to bring more transparancy to the financial situation? his communication with the general public -- public, do you think that has been a positive thing? do you think the feds could communicate better with the public? >> let's think about this as citizens. what were the reasons why -- what -- the principle reason
ones -- wants -- the principle reason one wants transparancy is we are a delegated powers, in that the people delegate to the congress under article 1 of the constitution which in turn dell -- gell delegates to a variety of government agencies. and there is a strong interest in any democracy in the people being able to observe how those dell geez are carrying out the authority that congress has given them. so i think in the first instance, which was transparancy long before we got to the feds, can be understood as a way for congress and through congress the public, to evaluate how the fed, which is an independent entity, it has a lot of independence, for a lot of good reasons, but with that independence, it needs to give
people an opportunity to evaluate what its policies are what its reasoning is, and how it wants to mandate the duel regulation congress has given us. and i think in and of itself, that's a significant amount of transparancy. everything from fomc statement, the hawkins testimony and the like. another roon is that the monetary policy to me has the central bank thinking in intentions of frame of reference can itself be a policy instrument. we were talking about the threshhold a moment ago. the threshold are essentially a communication transparancy policy which says, this is the way we'll be thinking about the federal funds rate over some
extended period of time. in doing that, in monetary policy, one hopes to provide more information about market access to be able to get a better sense of how the path of monetary policy may play out depending on economic conditions. so i think we have a second reason, and the chairman in his academic persona has developed that there is a situation in the fed. i think those two put together make a strong case for a fair amount of transparancy. and i would say particularly when we are pursuing monetary
policy. things that were not known to us, certainly not in the arsenal of tools used by the fed in the decade preside seeding the crisis. these were used precisely because of the highly unusual circumstances. i would say under those conditions we ask for democratic accountability reasons and for the monetary policy. we have a reason for having the chairman to regulate and speaking at length about those policies. and i do think it has been helpful of the fomc to have press conferences four times a year not only to eelaborate the reasoning of the committee and the discussions we've had, but -- and i think there have actually been really successful.
it allows the most informed reporters to ask the kind of questions that informed people jeply would ask. i for one think it has been a highly important and successful innovation. we'll get back to the integrating of regulatory policy in just a minute. i have noletised you are a red sox fan, which we will forgive you for in the context of this discussion, but tell us how you got to be where you are. give us a little bio on daniel trullo and your rise to the federal reserve. >> if i can interpret that question, how did i get interested in banking
regulation. i had in previous times in the government been in the anti-trust area, done international trade been in the clinton white house in economic policy. when i was in the clinton white house i was assistant to the national security -- during the financial crisis. this is an example of what can happen with cash flow shortages in a short order. particularly some of the asian countries that had been swept up in the crisis. it was just as i was leaving the white house i think were the early stages of thinking about became graham h. wiley. although i was not involved in it, i saw some of the early
thinking, and the combination of those two things got me interested in it. rather than teach anti-trust or focus on trade, i decided to look into doing that i got interested in international law in teaching and reading in this area. so as things began to deteriorate in 2007, i began paying closer attention and formulating in my own mind a set of things i thought needed to be done.
and i've been fortunate in being able to collaborate. >> this follows a question on twitter that i was also interested in. that is, how does the fed evaluate cost of equity capital requirements? what determines the new leverage ratio? how did you get to that point and what cross-benefit analysis goes into that? >> we did an awful lot of work on capital ratios above the levels that seemeds proscribed or needed to reduce financial instability, but also the cost of the economy. we did a lot of that in collaboration with our committee members. we actually formulated some
questions. that informed our position on the surcharge. i think you know about that. in both cases, we were in favor of somewhat higher numbers that eventually came out. that was based in part upon the analysis we had done. with respect to the leverage ratio, that gets back to the point briefly at the outset, which is the complementarity between leverage and risked based ratios. again the idea is, in my mind, to have several capital measures, each of which compensate for the original shortcummings of any one member. so to do that for risk-related capital, for example, the leverage ratio needs to provide a floor way down there, but a
floor that's rather closer to where they actually operate. what we were trying to do beyond the 3% ratio was to try to maintain that rough relationship between risk ratio and a part that had been the ratio for some time. the levels were too low precrisis. but the idea was to try to raise them and keep that level comparable. but i snead to underscore again, from our point of view, risk ratio plus the leverage ratio plus the stress test that the
fed is now doing every year. the fed stress tests every year are three important components of a single capital regulatory. >> if you could change one thing about dodd-frank, what would it be? >> i would want to withhold judgment, but there are days when i think, i wish we didn't have coordinate with seven agencies and the rest, but the interests of the american people do not coincide with the relative frustration in my daily
life. >> i wish that were the case. i want to open the questioning up to the audience. we have a microphone if if anyone here has a question for the governor. >> i appreciate your taking the time you have to make our system more secure. on the leverage situation, you spoke to part of this, you know, we just witnessed a several week long debate on derivatives in the need to harmonize our cross-partner rules. you saw them speak of needing to speak in the spirit of cooperation. secondly, we are working very hard to work up a resolution standard to make sure we could work together in a wind-down
cooperative fashion. given that we were trying to do that, how do you respond to those that think on the lempling side, u.s. dee departing from our peers seems inconsistent from cooperation that we are trying to strive for throughout this whole debate. >> i think the most important thing is to look at what various opportunities we have, which, indeed, are minimum capital levels. i think it is a very dangerous -- i like that you are doing this. but some have tried to characterize battle agreements as the ceiling and not the floor. the boggle agreements have always been to ensure banks have minimal capital levels to ensure all of us around the world about the safety and soundness of
financial institutions whose activities have substantial cross-board effects. indeed, if you look at boggle 2, which, you know i have many concerns about, particularly the concerns about, particularly the pill ar, but the supervisory part is largely about saying there ought to be capital requirements in appropriate circumstances. there is nothing that says national authorities can't make a judgment they want more. indeed i think we have seen in switzerland and in the u.k. a good bit of debate and in some respects action in increasing capital requirements above what the bozzle levels would be.
in particular, basel ii and basel iii. we need to look at what will ensure security in the country without unduly affecting the flow of credit. that's a judgment which we are to make by law and which we will make. i think it is important to note there is an interactive quality to this. even since the publication of our proposed gregg, i have had calls from my counterparts from around the world saying, that's interesting. tell me the reasoning on this. tell me why you think 3% is inadequate? it is tapping into a latent concern that i think exists among a lot of other regulators that as i said, the leverage
ratio, basel iii were affected significantly and in other cases perhaps lower than optimal, and i think there is interest that apeople are showing. the other thing is, i think capital is a good area to set minimum requirements. that's why armitrage has been almost instan tainous. that's why we have worked hard to marginiz derivatives. i don't think that is necessary in capital areas. but it is important in part because the physician in any firm in any country depends on a lot of things. it depends on capital requirements accounting rules,
tax law, it depends on other government policies, it depends on structural limitations. so that competitive position is the net effect of all of those policies we're still in a period of flux, i think, among a lot of nations in thinking about how much more do we want to do on the vicker's commissions discussions, the continuing debates within the european participatement. seeing how the positions stack up against others. >> bernie woods. governor, regarding the supplementary leverage proposal that came out last week, not all of the of these are -- not all
of these are created equally. what are your views going forward on plig the proposal uniformly to all institutions regardless of their profile? >> well, that will certainly be something we'll take comments on. as you know there are a number of policies that do differentiate. siffy surcharge being an example of that. i think in some cases the ratios apply equally, but the impact may be different depending on the firms. and surely in our supervisory policies we distinguish
considerably among them. i think the shared sense going in is that the leverage ratio is one of those policies that is probably close enough to having roughly comparable effects and producing roughly comparable benefits for financial stability. there ising in about carrying the ratios compared to other criteria. but that path didn't seem, at least to us, one that seemed as practical as the 6-5 approach that was mentioned a time ago.
>> one question, the leverage impact ratio could impact monetary side of fed policy. >> i didn't see the comment, but that is definitely a question, and i expect we'll get comments in the comment process. >> we don't have a lot of time, but the most important one, are the red sox for real? do they make the playoffs? what do you think? >> this has been -- after last year, which i think was disappointing for anyone associated with the red sox over the years, this has been a really good first half of the season. orpped, -- on the other hand, i think we are seeing what everyone else has been saying, the al east is the toughest division. >> thank you.
>> a live look outside the u.s. capital. the house rrns tomorrow to report on a bill that would delay for one year the ememployer and individual mandate called for under the health care law. on c-span2, the senate has recessed until tomorrow. senators are called to a meeting by senate majority leader harry reed. that meeting is underway now inside the old chamber. senators from both parties are proposing changes to the filibuster rules. on c-span2 you can join our live program discussing the issues involved with the filibuster rules in the senate. our cameras are also outside of
the old senate chamber in case there are any members that might wish to speak following the meeting there. last week a dispute arose regarding president's executive nominees. leader harry reed then took steps to set up votes to cut off debate on several of the president's nba.com nages, including top spots at the labor department, the e.p.a., and the consumer financial protection agency. the national labor relations board will have one member leave, leaving the board without a quorum. senator reid discusses his frustrations about these actions during an event earlier today here in washington. i'll show you a little piece of
that. >> as we know, frank lautner passed away recently. loved the senate. gina mccart any, after her 1,100 questions were asked, republicans refused to have a single republican attend. the only way to overcome that is all democratic senators had to be here. frank lautenberg was dying. they said we have to have him here. he literally on his deathbed came down here, unhooked the stuff keeping him alive, came down here from new jersey, and walked in to make a caucus. everybody was there for the democrats, the e.p.a. committee. we shouldn't be doing stuff like that. that isn't what it's all about. we can't reward bad behavior
over and over and over again. >> you can see the entire event on our website, cspan.org. the senate is neat meeting to discuss filibuster rules. the meeting began just a short while ago. and on c-span 2, we are having live discussion and interviews about the issues involved there. we are tracking your reaction to the filibuster. we are asking who is responsible for the stalemate in the u.s. senate -- derges republicans, or are both parties to blame equally? sign in at facebook.com/cspan and join in the conversation.
>> earlier someone touched upon the idea that women real little could not predict their role in entering into the white house. but i did find one political observer who commented at the 18th election, that marry mary started with no -- that lincoln was called -- mary lincoln said she did not see them in the white house more than -- she was a determined woman. she did talk about mr. lincoln's role perhaps of entering the white house. she was someone who was a true political partner. >> we will hear from historians and authors including catherine clinton about the role of the first lady and how it has changed along with the nation. tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span.
>> the head of the united nations diplomatic arms spoke about the role of the international organization in dealing with the conflict in syria saying the handling of the situation is a clear example of how sharp disagreements in u.n. security council can lead the institution quote ineffective. following his remarks, there was a panel discussion on u.n. conflict relation, syria, somalia, and mali. this is 90 minutes. >> it is my honor to welcome you to the brookings institution this morning. we are going to hear from a friend of this institution. a friend and a colleague to a number of us in the room, jeff feldman. he is, as you know, the undersecretary for political affairs at the united nations. this is a post he has held for a little over a year.
jeff, i suspect, it feels rather longer than that. he has participated in many much our forums, including the u.s. and islam foreyums. today he will talk about some tough areas of the world that need the very best diplomacy there is. both on the part of the united nations and on the part of a number of countries represented here in this room today. i will come to one of those in particular in a moment. jeff brings to his present job the experience of 26 years as a foreign service officer. he has had many tours.
i think it is safe to say, none of them easy. he has been posted in lebanon as the u.s. ambassador. he has been posted in and around iraq, asia, the issues around jeruslem and its status. gaza. as assistant secretary of state and near east affairs under former secretary of state hillary clinton. he rode the tiger of what we're calling and martin and his colleagues were of the first to call the asia wakening of the he did so with great skill. at the united nations he's essentially the head of the organization's diplomatic arm. he's going to give us a sense of the way in which the united nations and his office is dealing with crises in a number of parts of the world, including
what i think we all would agree is the number one problem, and that's syria. he will also touch on somalia and mali and other issues as well. jeff will begin with his remarks and then we will have questions. that begins me to the ambassador of norway. it has been almost common place when i come to this lecturn to recognize him in the front row. after five years as norway's ambassador here in washington, he is now the outgoing ambassador, but in two senses. one, he is going out of washington to go back to oslo to be the political director of the ministry of foreign affairs, but he's also been extraordinarily
outgoing in the way he gets around this town, including very often coming here to these events, occasionly asking a question, but basically being part of the audience. today it is our great good fortune that he will be part of the discussion. before i turn to the other members of the panel, i just want to say that you have also been an extraordinary friend, beneficiary, supporter to the brookings institution. you have worked on a number of issues here today. i will say you and cecelia will be missed in particular in this town, but we all get around, and
hopefully we will see you in the near future. we have bruce jones who is a senior fellow and the director of our managing global order project. he has himself served at the united nations in a variety of roles working on the middle east peace process, kosovo, and some other tough issues. he was also a particularly trusted advisor to secretary general koffi anan. the panel discussion will be moderated by martin indik who is the vice president and director of our program. but i think for purposes of today's event, his real claim to fame is that he saw in jeff the immense talent that i have already alluded to particularly
in the economics issue facing the gaza strip when he was at the united states peace in tel aviv when martin was ambassador there in at least one of his two stints. martin, after leading a brief discussion among the panelists, will throw the preeggeds over to all of you -- throw the proceedings over to all of you. you are allowed to keep your devices on, if they are silent, particularly if you are going to tweet.
hashtag u.s.diplomacy. i am showing my own background, i guess. [applause] >> friends and colleagues, let me begin by thanking brookings. and i want to thank martin and bruce for the invitation to speak about the u.n.'s diplomacy in today's crises. as strobe alluded, i credit martin, in fact, for how my own career evolved. when i worked for martin as a gaza watcher, i did not intend to spend the rest of my time in this area, but martin inspired me to do that. martin also had the good sense to encourage me to get to know bruce jones. then with the u.n., as strobe mentioned, with the idea we
could explore with the u.n. how to engage israeli-palestinian peace. given the way that norway provides in working on peace, i am grateful for ambassador stro man's presence here today. it has been an interesting 12 months. as strobe says, it feels longer than 12 months. for those of you that don't know it, the department of political affairs of the united nations works at the center of u.n. norks. in order to promote peace abroad and the u.n.'s support for free elections worldwide. it monitors political
developments around the globe. it works hard at the international level to resolve conflict. one can say many at the department of political affairs. but i think my remarks will show that comparison only goes so far. today i am back in washington, familiar terrain, but my vantage point has changed. i will attempt to answer two questions. first, what are the main differences in working on peace and security issues in the multilateral setting vs. u.n. diplomacy issues, and second, what are some of the key challenges that the u.n. faces in doing this work. in answering his questions i
will open one a few general comments about the u.n.'s work and then give a few specific geographic examples to illustrate how we do that work. on the first question, the differences between multieye lateral and bilateral diplomacy. i will be honest. i underestimated the time and the effort i needed to adjust to what was a far greater change than i had anticipated moving from washington to new york. as an english native speaker, for example, i assumed i would have no difficulty in reading comprehension at the united nations. but that could not have been further from the truth. 193 nations are far more creative than a single one in getting fully profishent in " u.n.-glish" or "unglish" than
some of us who have grown up speaking the language. but until you walk in, you cannot fully understand what it means backed by the tangible powers of the presidency, the dollar, the permanent member on the u.n. security council, those sorts of things. these were assets that almost without noticing, you know, i carried with me as u.s. ambassador to lebanon, as u.s. assistant secretary of state for near east affairs. of course when you are working for the u.s. government, one is vaguely aware of the power that you carry with you representing this country. i think one of my best educational experiences in the foreign service is watching real foreign policy professionals, people like strobe and martin, use those assets as leverage in negotiations.
if you spent an entire diplomatic career with those asets as part of your package, as i did, it is something as a shock to suddenly be without them. initially i felt sort of a sense of diplomatic nakedness. you mean i really have to rely on just my own persuasive skills? but at the u.n. i also have learned from watching my new colleagues that u.n. officials also wield important sources of power as they try to coax antagonists toward peace. but u.s. powers are different than what u.s. officials carry with them. learning how to use intangibles, ideals, is at the top of my own u.n. education. placed on our own shoulders for example are the principles enshrined in the u.n. charter and the principles and ideals that gave birth to the u.n., it
is worth remembering, derrive from large part from u.s. leadership division. another of the u.n. strengths that one carries is the u.n.'s perceived impartiality which allows us to talk to all sides and play the honest broker role that others often cannot. here again that universal membership helps. in crises we can deploy negotiators and missions that are diverse. they come from all over the world with regional and substantive expertise. this can help win quick respect of the parties involved. more over, our goal is to resolve conflicts. we do not pick winners and losers. our reports can and often -- our reports can be criticized, but it does play a role in how the problem is viewed.
so this u.n. leverage is only less tangible than some of the assets, but the legitimacy that the u.n. can convey on peace and security cannot be replicated by -- the legitimacy that the u.s. can convey in peace and security cannot be replicated by any single nation. also, a conflict portfolio that is regional. my geographic experience at the state department was of little use as i walked the corridors of the african union for the first time, as i struggled toll grasp the problems in mali. but what does remain the same, but viewed from foggy bottom or turtle bay is the political nature of most conflicts.
plus the u.s. can provide security on the ground. there are thousands of u.n. peacekeepers working globally. and they can help diminish suffering to man made or natural disasters. but also this requires politics. the day i took office secretary general ban ki moon sat down with me in my first time in that capacity, and he said my job was to do better in early warning, diplomacy, and conflict mediation. the secretary general has made prevention -- whether we're talking prevention of childhood disease or prevention of conflict -- the centerpiece of his tenure at the u.n.
we are working with conflict success in numerous arenas today. often we are working in situations where internal conflict hads been magnified by cross-board threats such as organized crime, military coups, by changing patterns of violence. in doing this, we are trying to use established tools as effectively as possible while also developing new approaches. it is worth remembering that the u.n. was established as a result of a world war between states. but more often than not, conflicts arise from within states. meaning our tools and engagement needs to evolve as well. let me focus on a few of these cases and highlight what the u.n. brings to the cases in bringing politics in tough
places. somalia, syria, afghanistan. i'll begin with syria. nothing has been more painful than to watch the syrian vicis unfolding ever more tragically every day and sewing instability across the region. the syrian crisis is what the u.n. faces when sharp divergence paralyzes the security council. tools some might consider useful simply aren't available given the security council's deadlock. so what do we do? i mean, first one important aspect without question, is the u.n.'s work regarding mobilizing support for humanitarian relief and delivering humanitarian assistance to those affected by the fighting in syria. the u.n. leads these efforts,
but there are political issues as well. the u.n. league of arab states has drawn on the impartiality of the u.n. in order to broker with government opposition forces, localized cease-fires, and various ways to deliver assistance across constantly changing threat lines. second, we are working as best we can, despite the security council divisions, to limit the damage to syria's neighbors of the spill-over from the syria conflict. we support ways to host communities and government institutions, particularly in jordan and lebanon to help mitigate what could easily become destablizing factors stemming from the in flow of hundreds of thousands of syrian refugees. drawing on the fact that dividing on syria the security council remains divided on lebanon, we also taut sought to gain strength from lebanon.
third, the u.s. has provided post planning. these efforts do not presume one sort of resolve or the other in terms of the political outcome, but they do not presume one sort of resolve or another in terms of political outcome. only the u.n. can offer the impartiality under which parties and supporters can arrive at an internationally legitimatized settlement and confidence that their interests can be protected. but it has been an uphill struggle from the outset.
all of our bleakest pricks seem to be coming true. whenever a slight opening occurs, dynamics either on the ground or among international and regional areas occur. neither side has been ready to discussion in syria. there has been a civil war rooted in grievances as the result of a handful of terrorists. the area has remained mired in conflict and fragmentation. still, we remain convinced there is no military solution. the belief by some there is a military solution, seems to be pushing toward destruction. we are in support of the kerry-lavroth initiative proposed. and i participated in two u.s.-russia-u.n. missions. but with current missions on the
ground, the traction keeps slipping. there is a need for diplomacy. every day hatreds rise and the united multieye cultural peaceful syria becomes an ever distant reality. if the key parties can help deliver peace to syria there is a chance for a negotiated transition in syria. let me turn now to somalia where we have reached a potential turning point. i was in mowing deesh ewe -- m ogadishu earlier this year. the u.s. represents how in the face of so many crises did demanding attention the u.n. can help sustain regional focus on a process -- that has the promise of real success but that still today needs to be nurtured. since the early 1990's, it has been perhaps been convenient to
look away from somalia in despair. but clearly one of the lessons from kabul to mogadishu, is that a failing state provides a danger to not only their own region, but to the regions around them. so the task of ending anarchy and building stable government in somalia took on great strategic as well as humanitarian significance. the u.n. has invested heavily with partners, including the african union and key governments such as the united states to help turn the tide in that country.
including --hip over special representative is helping to manage the evolving relationship between mogadishu and its neighbors. who support remains essential to somalia success. security is still a concern. a human compound was attacked just last month. we do not underestimate. we remain committed and determined to stay. others need to stay focused on somalia as well. in the great lakes region of africa, we can see how the you in as a dressing of the long- standing challenge. it seems almost immune to solutions. approach that offers a ray of hope. the you in peacekeeping force of the congo is the largest.
-- the you in peacekeeping force of the congo is the largest. it promotes stability. along werey tools insufficient the secretary- general concluded a political agreement among 11 countries. the neighbors and for physicians including the you in and the n. and africanu. nations. the other national and for organizations. in addition, the secretary- general appointed the former president of ireland and the high commission of human rights as a special envoy for the lake regions to use a framework to and the recurring cycles of violence including sexual violence. besides working at the leadership level, he is drunk grass roots societies and women
-- he is drawing in a grassroots societies and women organizations. we recognize and welcome the deployment of the u. n. envoy in the u.s. commitment to work with special envoy profits and. incentives and undermine the linkage, the secretary-general and gemma kim the first joint mission ever. the security council authorized new intervention brigades within the peacekeeping operations and the drc. ntended for the diplomatic efforts. power andnging our our diplomatic, peacekeeping and
other aspects into play to encourage a comprehensive approach to the challenges in the great lakes. we cannot afford to let it fade away. regarding afghanistan, the you it with n. is regarding the troops in the presidential elections of 2014. my colleagues in the u. n. have the lead in afghanistan. they are heavily involved as well with what is the u. n.'s wrote. it is a good example of how even the united nations with is universal membership lease to be cystic concerns of national sovereignty. in march, the security council renewed the mandate in additional for an year without any additional changes. this is a desire for continuity including good offices,
reconciliation, and regional cooperation. many of our member states see a similar role for the u. n. beyond 2014. some of the actors and the government have indicated skepticism regarding the continued political role for the u. n. interfere a could with afghan sovereignty. u. n. will require consistence among different actors of theerent interests to allow organization to continue to assist afghans the most effective way without being seen as compromising the sovereignty. is to work u. n. recently. asia and -- central another one of the overseas missions that report is actively involved in the process and working with the government of the region to identify common
projects and approaches to build trust and prevent conflict and instability in the long run. -- ourstrate overworked work, i want to touch briefly on yemen and iraq. yemen in my view is an x for example of how the u. n. compliments other organizations. a consensus blueprint for negotiation and peaceful transition. the countries and bilateral partners such as the united states deserves our applause. the promoting the transition roadmap known as the gcc initiative signed by the former human president -- yemen president.
the leverage by certain countries and the u.s. was essential in persuading the president to step aside. it was only one step in a long public in the process. a national dialogue had to be organized to drop the principles in which the cousin to sure would be drafted. it had to be brokered. parties and individuals had to be persuaded to have their trust and the processes. couple canese aspects of implementation of the initiative initiative have been overseen by be u. n. by the special envoy in baghdad the united states. assiderable work remains scheduled in 2014 the most heavily armed as of early
trouble lysed societies in the world not to mention economic. large itemsby and of the effectiveness of multilateral diplomacy. to praise the relation between -- two countries that lifted that was drafted with the full cooperation of both iraq and kuwait. countriesthose two have this here demarcated the border together. this is a remarkable turnaround. it is an area where diplomacy complement and brokered made a real difference.
countries demonstrate the importance of clement reaction a bilateral and multilateral diplomacy working together. ,e combine our strengths lasting solutions can be found. ladies and gentlemen, as we do with tough politics and all of these arenas, a number of challenges emerge across the board. first, going from early morning to early response area although we in the united nations and probably in washington are casually caught off guard. our single biggest challenge is not to improve but to find ways .o mobilize early action breath a unified diplomatic action as soon as opportunity -- rapid and unified diplomatic action as soon as it is on the horizon. prevently when the to mass loss of life. it is far less costly in terms
of blood. political space for early intervention is extremely limited. to to concerns over sovereignty, perceived interference in political affairs. cannot force themselves. sovereignty issues and other questions affect our ability to broker peace is currently at the heart of a major internal process of the united nations. a process of learning from lessons of failure. second, professionalizing the service. there is an art to diplomacy. were always be. in today's complex processes, on was the most skilled diplomats need access to a broad range of technical expertise are
relatively new implements including a standby team of mediation experts who can be deployed anywhere around the world within 72 hours. this kind of mobile assistance on issues such as power-sharing, constitution making it in such demand we can barely keep up. let me salute norway again. norwegian financial and logistic support has made a standby team mediation team possible. security which is the subject quite familiar to diplomats as well. our work is become more and more dangerous. mogadishu is the most recent reminder. when our mobility is restricted, our ability to deliver it is compromise. in short, we face the dilemma of trying to do effective political outreach while him didn't between razor wire.
finally, let me and where i started. this is with leverage. equipped with a leader battalions or billions of available dollars, what leverage does the u. n. really have? the road challenges is finding ways to build -- the real challenges is finding ways to build consensus and having the international community speak with one voice. the leveragenited, that the united nations has is high. a reunion, we have a united council. on syria, we do not. it is hard to overstate the difference that makes. isng politics into places not easy. it is my strong belief that we have no alternative but to maintain the momentum around diplomacy and a sure we stay focused in every engagement on finding clinical solutions. -- well bilateral and
witnessed, display an important role would you were there to develop diplomatic .ools for the united nations as you pointed out, norway continues to play an important role. let's get your reaction. forhank you very much giving me the opportunity to come to brookings and say a few words about norway's attitudes. i have been there almost six years. it is an embarrassment. i late part of the household here. every --get rid of me rid of me. -- i am part of the household here. i am thankful for all of the doors you have opened for me and for norway. confession first. my own thinking on some of these issues go back. i work for the u. n. back in the
1993-1995,the terrible years. before any of these things were institutionalized. before i met bruce jones. called thesomething international conference for the former yugoslavia. it was an ad hoc thing. very claim this time. do a little bit of what dpa does now. york, norway new was on the security council in 2001, 2002 when i met bruce. we quickly figured out that the u. n. -- and those were activist years. the cold war had come down.
belief in the ability of the u. n. in a way, it was a feeling that it was a norwegian -- we never had the pentagon. [laughter] welcome to our world. [laughter] willoom i walk in, nobody connect me with a pentagon. was a natural extension of our way of ending. you come to realize even if you try to do some good in the world by being active in solving violent conflicts or delete make an effort -- or at least make an effort for peace and reconciliation, unity to draw on the different pool of people and backgrounds. place.as the perfect
, it really needed to be institutionalized. it really needed to be institutionalized. i spoke a lot in those days. dpa started to take form and shape. to save theng intellectual leadership is overrated. sometimes, you think that. it almost this. because i thought it was an uvious thing for the -- the . n. to take over. there's nothing that can taken over. it means resources. this is my sort of main point. it really need to resources. norwegians always come in and talk about money. how shiny your message
and how you should do this and you should do that, all of that is fine. it gets complicated if you are costly talking about other people's money. the fact that to get as many as possible to show not only you and shown the u. n. support with coming up with the resources not only money but personnel and support systems and structure. us what you will see there are advantages of their. -- advantages there. they will play a number of roles. anything from keeper of the holy growth, any role he you can think of. it is anyway important.
sometimes it is the right thing to do. we will continue to support this. your efforts around the world and in the places you have udable.ed are la we know it is tough. we know it is hard. would like more resources. all i can promise is will keep our part for the future. thank you. resources, tell barb we are not talking about peacekeeping resources. what other resources that are necessary for jeff's work? days,a matter of a few you're able to draw on experts from around the world. diversification is really important. what i learned in yugoslavia, i had a boss who was hindu. before thata boss
was not lutheran. [laughter] i got a hindu. it was a new experience for me. you actually understand after little while the ability to draw canhe pool that the u. n. build up. you have to have systems in place. they need travel. as a means salary. one of the frustration in mid is that before you can start talking, it was so difficult. when you got there, you were almost exhausted. these, you would be much better at this part. not only that too, with the big funds. perspective,ngs in all of the tools that we have,
the rapper response and mediation -- a rapid response and mediation, it is voluntary contributions. it is not come out of the regular budget. we are not being appropriated. such as the rapid deployment i described area we are talking followed terry contributions -- voluntary contributions. if you look at the peacekeeping that is fromdrc, the regular budget. that's over $1 billion a year. >> in somalia? >> our political missions overseas are from the regular budget. points that just made very strongly that it so very obvious in syria, when the permanent members of the security council united in , the bpa becomes much
easier. on thatyour reflection kind of conundrum? >> and go straight central issue -- it goes to a central issue. something that strengthens the organization is that they have both. and blends principle with reality and power. they are able to float their power through the institution when they choose to do so. you also the universal membership and the charter under the principle that jeff talked about. what is interesting is how geterently these two things a raid because the conference. thinking about and that is the of great power interests. first tier, second-tier, or
third tier. when you are in a small civil war in central alcoa where the great powers have no fundamental say, that is diplomacy that jeff is talking about, persuasion or ability tor the manage networks, those are the tools to become extremely important. much more important than people realize. there's been a long despite about how much states matter rated institutions. there are parts of the world where they are the main source of diplomatic action. drawing on the lead networks. the tools of the charter and their own persuasive skills and etc. it makes a critical difference. the opposite end of the spectrum. theatter what the scale, very best a can do is to facilitate some form. it is a matter how effective
jeffrey feltman is. nothing will change. p5.s among the among the most interesting place and you've talked about is what talked about is somalia. there are special force in somalia. there is a terrorist threat. they are not fundamental states such defenses as dictated -- such as the united states is dictating. you middle powers. the turks, the bricks. you have sufficient power and leverage to move pieces around the chessboard. dramatic requires a talents of jeff and his colleagues to orchestrate those pieces and corral people in a common direction. when you have a number of players in the game for their
interest may overlap. it takes the skill of u. n. diplomats to pull people in a common position and push the pieces in the same direction. that is where the u. n. makes a fundamental difference. -- and they roll have an important role. outcomes and that is where the protest lies. with credit to jeff, what he is already accomplished is building a much deeper ties to turkey, india, brazil, some of the merging powers area even the united states is not fully recognized how those actors are diplomatic plates in a lot of these games. jeff is ahead of the curve on that issue. >> do you want to respond on the difficult see -- the difficulty of having so many different
players with different interests? >> let's respond to the last point. a broadying to find funding base for these type of and mediation efforts. when norway has been extremely generous. in helping us statement of these mechanisms. they are one of our primary funders, 15 million-tournament dollars a year. if you look a source lent thomas germany, uk -- if you look at , it islent, germany, uk somewhat predictable. they will continue to support us. it is all western european. if a conflict is the merging somewhere there may be a perception that we have a certain agenda and trying to do preventive policy. our been trying to expand
friend of dpa. fundingmanaged to get from japan, turkey, india, morocco. in some cases, they are relatively modest sums. the perceptionge that we actually represent the membership base of the organization. jeff, one of the things that struck me about what you said is the difference between a u.s. diplomat and a u. n. diplomats is the issue of legitimacy. something that washington does not always take very seriously. there are extreme cases. has on the legitimacy
and the world and the u.s. often does not react i wonder if you could address that issue. templateof the u. n. in legitimizing interventions -- template in legitimizing inerventions -- can play legitimizing interventions. >> i have worked in both places. there is a pride in the u. n. i had not fully grasped about the at aof legitimacy university-based organization can offer. when i worked in washington, i did not have a full appreciation for how much that means inside and membern -- u. n. states. where we places that
are able to play an effective role because there's legitimacy conveyed on the consensus that could be u. n. hats. this may be the second-tier conflict areas. there are p5 members who are extremely focused legitimacy and the of trying to define scope for international action. it's a different aspect of the urgency question we have a p5 member looking very strictly of what legitimacy means in terms of any type of international action. it is also important to keep that in mind. those are the two aspects. >> can i say one something about legitimacy? admire a mannd i who must be in his mid-90s.
he's the number two in the system. he was present and sever cisco with the charter was written -- isco when the charter was written. the u. n.cused of, has lost all legitimacy. that is something you wait here every day. said, we heard that in 1945. does been that way ever since. and it will be that way forever. it doesn't exist. ,f you do not elect -- feel it you will you get to the field. >> left by syria for a minute. talk about syria for a minute.
legitimacy of the constitution is being questioned as a result. we will start with you. think to beinc. -- done about the situation? >> i agree with what jeff said, a problem from hell in the beginning. it is -- it is such a -- the sheer numbers. of the sheer numbers. ,000 people being killed. i will make a proper analysis of it. for us, when i was at the u. n. we weren't so much with central africa. the figures were even higher.
ends up with these horrible situations. what can be done? to be honest, i do not know. what i know in the wake of regional containment were i would've some credit to with is doing.he u. n. not a lot comes out in the media. we tend to focus on the horse. -- horrors. i am not offering any brilliant insight of what you can do. there are reasonable, sensible things that have been done in the regional context. >> refugees. stabilizing the neighboring countries.
given the pressure they are under, the international support for them is at least not to the fastest, but reasonable at the moment. that's probably the maximum we can do at the moment. i do not want anything to be taken to diminish the terms of syria. i will make one broader point. finishing a chapter of a book about order and disorder and i started the chapter about talking about the situation. half the population is dead and efforts to deploy a civilian a monitoring team. exiting search for a great power -- a continuing search for a great power solution.
it is simply worth remembering that the fact we are deadlocked right now doesn't mean we will be deadlocked for ever. it is not meant the situation will change on the ground. it does not mean this one device and the security council. while we are deadlocked in the council and on syria, the council has been unified and it had an effective response in congo and a lot of the other areas were millions of lives were at stake. it is always worth remembering this one of several plays and that the council is working. it's always the case case that deadlocked attracts more attention. one other quick point. we should not focus on these issues much in this town. over the last decade, with a focus on two wars we were involved in -- iraq and afghanistan. in the same time, the mid 1990's until the last decade, the combination of u. n. diplomacy
and mediation and peacekeeping saw the number of wars in the 2010.go from 30 to 6 in from an average of one million people killed to 10,000. syria will spike those numbers back up. overall, you look at the postwar period and there is a huge reduction were diplomacy played a central role. not that it's lucifer wrote, but essential. it is always worth bearing that in mind. -- not exclusive, but essential. >> with can only choose a few topics to address in the remarks. where the u. n. has had real success where i believe preventive what could be violent outcomes of conflict. border, whonigerian thinks about that? they have almost finished the
process to demarcate the entire border. there will probably be a ceremonial in september. a few months ago, it looked like a dangerous spot. left out about ginny. it was on the verge of what looks like a serious conflicts. we had a facilitator who was able to broker an understanding between opposition parties to allow legislative elections to take place. various compromises made. these were not headline grabbing things. nigeria alts over over the border, it would've been headline grabbing. i'm looking at success. done?syria, can more be >> is a real dilemma.
working with the neighboring states and do what we can to broker humanitarian delivery across front lines, working on post conflict scenarios. this is what we can and will do. they do not get at the issue that you to sites in syria and backers on each side that are able to come up with a way for. even the post-conflict when it was controversial. toad to meet last year explain with the foreign minister of syria that will probably hear the u. n. cannot keep secrets thomas they are going to a post playing scenario that will be setting up teams to look at the sectors and what the u. n. response could be. i want to make sure the government of syria knew. he was taken aback.
in the end, he concurred that the u. n. role would be necessary. he wanted to make sure we were not calling to post planning. >> let's go to your questions. please wait for the microphone. identify yourself. make sure you ask a question. i'm the director of political affairs. just a question getting back to the original hashtag. how could the united states most effectively promote the united nations? to help tobest do achieve your goals and our goals? >> you do provide 22% of the general budget and 20% of the peacekeeping budget. that's a significant role. are some structural issues
that is not a word boring the audience with. the u. n. could be take a different role. how we do the funding with special missions. arcane topic for this group. to the extent that the u.s. is able to help explain to the american population why the u. n. is important is what we need more than anything else. things like six percent of the world's children are vaccinated from childhood diseases through united nation programs. in this aircraft where threats threats, a era where multilateral organization can play a very effective role in being a force multiplier for u.s. interest to the extent that u.s. officials are able to help us make that case to the
american public. i would be grateful. something the u.s. should do from your perspective? >> oh, yeah. [laughter] the most powerful country, there's an interest of dynamicic, political that you can let the u. n. run with the ball. a dictator back for while. there is a need for a lot of creativity. is much more useful to the u.s. the side. >> thank you. will davis. thank you. great remarks today. suffers from the dog that does not bark.
my question is just to a little bit about the question, you can walk not too far outside of our wonderful surrounded and find folks in washington who thinks the u. n. is anti-american. if you go to the other member states and the first thing he would here is the u. n. is a tool of united states. how do you reconcile these two views? the fact of the u. n. is becoming a target, it is more challenging, etc. function of the u. n. being too closely linked to the u.s.? you and good to see you. that one the most important partnerships we have inside of the u. n. family is with undp. we work on election support where we cochair a syria task
force. you're absolutely right. member states, which country x us the most influence -- which country exercises the most influence? unanimous, the united states. the perception and the united states is based on some the general assembly debates based on what some the member states themselves are able to use the u. n. platform to express. broadlynization is overlaps. % with the u.s. policies and goals. matter howout no talented we may be as individuals, what our experience and strengths are as byividuals, we can do more
joining with family members, have a community groups, church groups. you can achieve more. i look at the u. n. like that. we may not always agree with all of the member states, we can achieve more by working in the organization. i believe we do achieve more that we as the united states could do alone. basically i- i am am in my position because i am an american antiracist lays an important role in the u. n.. withect to be looked at more suspicion for my colleagues. i think i do. we will see. >> a, you are a canadian. , you are a canadian. was chief of staff and
the peace process and keep, i got a phone call every single day from an american diplomat who was not one of these two gentlemen tell me what the secretary general thought that day. i will amend, he often thought about the middle east peacekeeping process. to the crux about the concerns from an american concerned that the u. n. and anti-american businesses. anybody was worked with the organization knows that united --tes i despise a vast space iq pies a vast space. vast space.a the united states is not dumb enough if it is visible, that is a good thing. obviously, it is good for the u. n. and they are able to work
with a lot of actors and find a lot of common ground. it does take a wilderness to step up and say no to the united states. a key talent a diplomats is to know exactly when and how to say no to the united states which left to do very carefully. but you can do. striking that balance between using and caring of the weight of the u.s. behind you to some degree in knowing when to break from the essays really matters. >> let me add one more thing. dvs mission to the u. n. does not call me anymore the any key missions. i do not believe i am being watched as an american. other missions call me more than the americans. there was one meeting when i had a very strong point of view every american had a different point of view. we had a very tough meeting with one of the members of the u. n. mission and the team with them.
very tough. i made absolutely clear that i disagreed and why. i simply was not accepting the as being the appropriate response to this particular issue. it was a tough meeting. it was a bit tense. when the american delegation finally left, my team looked at me and said those were the americans. [laughter] you talked to them like that. [laughter] because you aren't american you can. >> it can be a good thing. this is diplomacy. how you play the u.s./u. n. ande going on a mission everybody wanted to go. the discussion would have a little group.
none of the small countries would ever volunteer, we are only here for two years. not ready to throw in the towel. finally the american said, to get this going, we will volunteer not to go. so the u.s. will not go to this place? everybody else has so much to contribute. we saw it a little bit strange. we told the parties it was going to be a smaller mission and so far the u.s. is not going. they would notid go if the americans did not go. the chinese were dragging their feet. parties said we do not want you on long. [laughter] you are not going to come here unless you bring the americans. it is that serious.
you have that side to it. all 15 of us went. [laughter] introduced some words about the peacekeeping process. the absence of reference to palestine. dpa can doat is the when it comes to the hot potato issue? >> i headed in the the earlier draft and i took it out. what can i say? let me be honest. yes, we can play a leadership role that we can talk to people of that the united states and may not talk to. we humanitarian relief and raise
the profile up for fundraising and certain programs. the fundamental political issues that they will have to take decisions are was in which we will have to play supportive role, not a leadership role. the secretary general has been on the record. he is absolutely delighted on the role that secretary kerry has played. he has made it clear that the you in -- u. n. is there to support him. we are a quartet. would be interested and having -- we would be interested. say this is an issue on which we would like to support strong leadership and not be the leader ourselves. >> notwithstanding the secretary's efforts, there will be a situation that comes in
september when the general assembly where the question of palestine is front and center again. does dpa have any role? ones where people see us as the talking points. whoever it happens to be. of questions of conventions and other parts, if the palestine was to choose to go that way, what the particular situation is. the secretary-general has a great empathy for the palestinians. he is also forced a close relationship with israelis. the secretary-general would far prefer we come up with a way to
provide a political solution rather than have one of the parties. the secretary-general has made it clear to the palestinians there are implications to us as an organization that would like the palestinians to keep in mind as they consider their own and next steps. >> i have a question. wait for the microphone. >> thank you. my name is alex. clearly about being the key to the u. n. ability to exercise power on the mission and went consistence does not exist -- and went consistence does not exist, the u. n. suffers. libya.can shed light on
what the perspective is now given it as a place where consensus seemed to move in the opposite direction where it existed and multiple security council resolutions were passed and subsequently, there seems to of nationsergence and the international team. >> thank you. you are right. the debate over libya continues. of what discussion those resolutions were passed actually authorized. and it plays into the discussions, the mali discussions and what to do about the cross-border situations in sahel and terrorism. the libya example looms very large. however, there still is security council support for the u. n. mission in libya.
the debate about the libya has affected the discussions on other issues more than what is needed in libya today whether -- and is pretty member who blocked political engagement and things like that. >> over here. >> i'm a medical student with the ama. know thatn is, we all in times of civil unrest and international conflict, physicians and hospitals and medical services are often targets of a lot of the violence that goes on. i was wondering if the panel can offer a few comments for
information about any roles or activities that to the u. n. and u.s. are taking or have taken to make sure that medical mutuality is kept as a priority. documentstained by such as the geneva convention. and he comments on that and that's it -- any comments on that and that situation? actors and itarian the highlight people like high commissioner for refugees and coordinator for you humanitarian assistance have really tried to use her voice is to raise this issue especially with syria. it wase of months ago,
quite high profile and about the need to protect the neutrality of medical personnel and other humanitarian actors. there will be a debate this week where the same key humanitarian actors are raising the profile of this. if you look at someplace like syria, there has been significant damage area something like one third of the hospitals are not usable now because of damage that has been done from the fighting. without having forces on the ground to actually separate what we try to do is use the boy said that the u. n. has to raise on this and have discussions with those countries that have influence on those inside of syria. this and talk about raise issue. privately, we talk to those countries that are in touch with
to fighters on either side try and build humanitarian space. most of these issues you are raising are in the geneva convention. they are in law. it's a question of having them in perspective. what the sad things about being being a diplomat in our area is the inability to have new international norms. i do not think the geneva convention, my personal view, we cannot have negotiated this today. we cannot have negotiated the you and charter -- u. n. charter. we really have to look out for the heritage we have from previous generation. the geneva convention as not bad at all. actually it does a pretty good job.
this should be the job of all of us. if there was ever a common cause ,or everybody who is engaged not only humanitarian work, but political, it would be to make sure that this is all of what we have in their clear regulations. any violation would be unacceptable. it's a path for all. we'll have to cut this to the last question. i will take you from the young lady. i am with the institute for policy studies. i had a question about the u.s. influence with specific regard to issues of sovereignty that you were discussing. and how would changes in the distribution of influence between the diversity of nations affect the willingness of a nation in conflict to embrace u. n. intervention?
>> the sovereignty question is one that i have been taking about a lot through the year. bruce jones and i have had several conversations about this. more often than not, one of the countries will be asking for you when support, thinking they have the more -- u.n. support. they think they have more legitimate claim. hard to findt is an entry point. we might not be able to look out x isee that country having an ethnic problem in one corner of the country that seems to be spreading and we get a warning. that government, that member state of thi